Happy Christmas & a happy new year!
Feel free to share a seasonal tale in the comments section.
The first session of the day I went to was Carl’s, about digitising his grandparents’ memoirs Fairytales Can Come True. Obviously, as Carl’s my partner, this wasn’t the first time I’ve flicked through the folder. Carl’s grandparents have told their story in a beautiful way – Pat and Brian have written their passages of the same time separately and published them side by side, Pat’s text is in italics whilst Brian’s is plain text.
Of course the memoirs aren’t just precious personal memories, they’re rich with Birmingham history (Pat and Brian started their life together in the then newly built Chelmsley Wood area). Carl was keen to discuss how he could share these memoirs in a way that expressed the historical titbits and insights they contained whilst respecting his grandparents’ privacy by not over sharing and overcoming some of their fears about the internet. Here’s some notes I took during the session:
The main points that particularly stuck with me were:
- Get the protagonists’ voices online telling their story for themselves where possible – capture them on audio or video to bring the text to life and give people a feel for how the text should be read (regional accents, slang, etc.). Great tips from Katrina Kirkwood.
- Get the story behind the story – how has the history come to be published online? In Carl’s case, it was because his grandfather deleted the document on his computer soon after printing it, so he has been working hard on scanning and re-digitising the document.
- Gradually get the authors blogging their own story using a simple platform such as a private Posterous, so they become accustomed to publishing online and can see how their work reads.
- Rich family archives such as these are starting to be passed down into the hands of people who naturally share their lives and findings online. People find they want to not just to preserve these archives, as their mothers and fathers would have, but to also tell their family’s stories.
- “Blog like there’s no-one reading,” said Lloyd Davis. Sound advice – concentrate on telling your story the way you see fit, don’t let an idea of an audience affect the way you tell it.
The session generated some interesting discussion on how much history (especially local histories) are personal stories, and the delicate balance between sharing versus exposing those looking to publish them need to strike. I was also introduced to some great tips and tools, such as the social network http://www.gransnet.com/
John Popham interviewed Carl just after the session:
Glad you enjoyed the day Jason!
Although the event is over, I’m still seeing tweets hashtagged #storycamp pop up in my timeline, which is great. They range from sharing useful links:
To people’s post StoryCamp actions:
To intriguing indications of post StoryCamp meetings being arranged and plans being hatched:
All of them are making me smile!
If like me, you have tried to get a ticket for The Story 2012 and failed because they get snapped up like hot cakes as soon as they’re released, you’ll probably be interested to know that the next batch of tickets go on sale this Monday 10th October. Be sure to make a note in your diary to visit the Eventbrite page to buy your ticket early on in the day!
I just had to share the amazing set of photos #ashroplad (AKA Nigel Bishop) took at StoryCamp and shared on Flickr – he really did capture the relaxed, fun yet productive air of the day. I especially love the one of Ben Whitehouse and Sandra Hall dancing.